LONDON (AP) — Scotland’s highest civil court on Friday upheld the British government’s move to block a landmark gender-recognition law passed by the Scottish parliament, underscoring the growing divide over local control of legislation in the nations of the United Kingdom.
The ruling by the Court of Session in Edinburgh is a setback for Scotland’s semi-autonomous government, which overwhelmingly approved a bill allowing anyone 16 or older to change the gender designation on their identity documents by self-declaration, removing the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
The legislation set Scotland apart from the rest of the U.K., where the minimum age is 18 and a medical diagnosis is required.
Britain’s central government blocked the law, invoking for the first time a section of the 25-year-old act that gave the Scottish parliament control over most of its own affairs. Section 35 gives U.K. authorities the power to prevent the implementation of measures that interfere with matters reserved to the central government.
The decision highlights the tensions inherent within constitutional arrangements that cede…
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